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  • By Malcolm Jeeves
    Jan 27, 2013
    Handedness and Speech: Brain Plasticity and Evolution By Kenneth Provins Developments in neuroscience and psychology have accelerated at a remarkable pace during the past two decades. Concurrently the pace of research and discovery in paleoanthropology has exceeded expectations. The convergence of evidence from these two previously relatively distinct fields of inquiry has shed new light on some very old puzzles about human nature such as why most people seem to be right handed in most cultures. In the light of all this exciting new evidence it is easy to forget or be unaware of relevant well documented evidence from the past. This book by Professor Kenneth Provins provides an extensive and invaluable review of the early literature on handedness and speech. At the beginning of the book, Professor Provins makes clear that "…the present review limits itself to seeking an explanation of the nature and origin of handedness and its relationship with speech and a critical examination... More > of the available evidence specifically concerned with manual skills and speech production.” (p.2) It is the breadth and scope of this review which make it so important. A primary question for Professor Provins is, "why there appears to be a predominance of right handedness in all cultures and at all times."(p.19) After an extensive and in-depth review of the literature he reminds his readers in closing of his primary aim , "… to examine at greater length than provided elsewhere the suggestion that human handedness is no different in kind from the lateral asymmetries observed in subhuman mammalian species-just more sophisticated due to the greater learning abilities possessed by Homo Sapiens”(p.278). He also reminds his reader that throughout he has sought to maintain a balance of relevant biological and sociological evidence , when he writes, "Further consideration has also been given to understanding the basis for a predominance of the right side in terms of Hertz’s (1909) explanation of the universal symbolic significance of the right (as sacred) in contrast to that of the left (as profane)". I commend this book wholeheartedly as a continuing resource for all researchers into the origins of human handedness and speech . Emeritus Professor Malcolm Jeeves , C.B.E., F.Med.Sci., F.R.S.E. School of Psychology and Neuroscience , University of St. Andrews. Past President , The Royal Society of Edinburgh Past Editor in Chief of Neuropsychologia< Less
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Product Details

September 21, 2012
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
1.43 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
5.83 wide x 8.26 tall
Product ID
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